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The long-term evolution of economic history: evidence from the top five field journals (1927–2017)

Author

Listed:
  • Martina Cioni

    (University of Siena)

  • Giovanni Federico

    (University of Pisa
    NYU Abu Dhabi
    CEPR)

  • Michelangelo Vasta

    (University of Siena)

Abstract

The growing appeal of the long-run perspective among economists and the fiftieth anniversary of the publication of the Conrad and Meyer article (1958), which marked the official beginning of the Cliometric Revolution, have attracted a lot of interest on economic history. This paper explores the long-term development of economic history by analysing all the 6516 articles published in the top five international journals (Economic History Review, Journal of Economic History, Explorations in Economic History, European Review of Economic History and Cliometrica). Our main results are that the Cliometric Revolution took quite a long time to fully display its effects. We show that the conventional wisdom on the current state of the discipline seems a bit too optimistic. Economic history does not seem to be neither more comparative nor more focussed on peripheral countries. The historical periods studied do not change considerably, and the relevance of different topics did not change univocally. Most articles use some econometrics but only a minority feature advanced techniques. Economic history is indeed becoming more democratic, but its boundaries remain limited to the most advanced countries. Articles by authors from Continental Europe increased substantially, while that of North American declined. This change may be the harbinger of a new divergence between the two shores of the Atlantic, possibly related to the rise of a new paradigm, but it is too early to tell.

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  • Martina Cioni & Giovanni Federico & Michelangelo Vasta, 2020. "The long-term evolution of economic history: evidence from the top five field journals (1927–2017)," Cliometrica, Springer;Cliometric Society (Association Francaise de Cliométrie), vol. 14(1), pages 1-39, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:cliomt:v:14:y:2020:i:1:d:10.1007_s11698-019-00186-x
    DOI: 10.1007/s11698-019-00186-x
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    Cited by:

    1. Martina Cioni & Giovanni Federico & Michelangelo Vasta, 2023. "Is economic history changing its nature? Evidence from top journals," Cliometrica, Springer;Cliometric Society (Association Francaise de Cliométrie), vol. 17(1), pages 23-48, January.
    2. Martina Cioni & Giovanni Federico & Michelangelo Vasta, 2020. "The two Revolutions in Economic History," Working Papers 0192, European Historical Economics Society (EHES).
    3. Mohamed M. Mostafa, 2023. "A one-hundred-year structural topic modeling analysis of the knowledge structure of international management research," Quality & Quantity: International Journal of Methodology, Springer, vol. 57(4), pages 3905-3935, August.
    4. Martina Cioni & Giovanni Federico & Michelangelo Vasta, 2021. "Spreading Clio: a quantitative analysis of the first 25 years of the European Review of Economic History [Plague in seventeenth-century Europe and the decline of Italy: an epidemiological hypothesi," European Review of Economic History, European Historical Economics Society, vol. 25(4), pages 618-644.
    5. Brownlow, Graham & Colvin, Christopher L., 2022. "Economic history and the future of pedagogy in economics," QUCEH Working Paper Series 22-09, Queen's University Belfast, Queen's University Centre for Economic History.
    6. Voth, Hans-Joachim, 2020. "Persistence – Myth and Mystery," CEPR Discussion Papers 15417, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    7. Martina Cioni & Giovanni Federico & Michelangelo Vasta, 2022. "Persistence studies: a new kind of economic history?," Review of Regional Research: Jahrbuch für Regionalwissenschaft, Springer;Gesellschaft für Regionalforschung (GfR), vol. 42(3), pages 227-248, December.
    8. Martina Cioni & Giovanni Federico & Michelangelo Vasta, 2021. "The State of the Art of Economic History: The Uneasy Relation with Economics," Working Papers 20210067, New York University Abu Dhabi, Department of Social Science, revised Jun 2021.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Economic History; Cliometric Revolution; Top Journal in Economic History;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • N01 - Economic History - - General - - - Development of the Discipline: Historiographical; Sources and Methods

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